The reveal of the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and its “ripped from the headlines” story has gotten people talking about Call of Duty‘s controversial moments. Already, a scene in the new Call of Duty involving a child in a village has people cringing in their seats.
Still, the new Call of Duty game would have to be pretty crazy in order to top the most controversial Call of Duty moments of all-time.
Fake Terrorist Attack in Singapore
This list is in no particular order, but this has to be the most meaningless and idiotic controversy in Call of Duty history.
For some reason, Activision decided to promote Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 by changing Call of Duty‘s Twitter account to “Current Event Aggregate.” They then began tweeting about a fake terrorist attack in Singapore, with almost no indication it was a promo for the game.
Call of Duty was the last game franchise at this time that needed viral marketing, much less something this short-sighted.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s No Russian Level
Undoubtedly the most famous Call of Duty controversy, “No Russian” is an infamous part of the franchise’s history.
This Modern Warfare 2 level saw you pose as a member of a terrorist group who shot their way through an airport of innocent civilians. You didn’t technically have to shoot anyone (and a later patch let you skip the segment), but the segment hit too close to home given its similarity to actual mass shootings.
More on that later…
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s London Scene
Modern Warfare 3‘s developers apparently felt they had to top the “No Russian” level of Modern Warfare 2. Well…they certainly came close.
This scene in MW 3 featured a terrorist attack in London that was not only not that far removed from a fairly recent terrorist attack in London but centered around a young child being killed.
It was seen as an instance of “cheap heat” solely intended to generate controversy and live up to series standards.
Fighting Against Grenade Spam
So, there was a Modern Warfare 2 commercial featuring a joke about grenade spam in multiplayer. The problem is that someone decided that the fake organization promoting the commercial should be called the Fight Against Grenade Spam.
That organization’s unfortunate acronym didn’t do much to curb Call of Duty‘s reputation as the home of immature and toxic gamers.
No Nazis in World War II Multiplayer
In an attempt to be more politically correct, the developers of Call of Duty: WWII decided to remove Nazi imagery and references in the game’s competitive multiplayer mode.
Their attempts were met with a mixed reaction. Alongside claims of trying to alter history, fans noted that this inclusive approach led to the questionable ability to have certain races and sexes fighting for a German army that probably wouldn’t have been that welcoming to them.
The Assassination of Fidel Castro
Call of Duty: Black Ops‘ alternative history campaign saw players take a trip through time. Along the way, they had the opportunity to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
It turns out that Castro was a body double, but the level did not go over big in Cuba where it created a minor international incident. The Cuban government made no attempt to hide their displeasure regarding this scene and even implied that it “it stimulates sociopathic attitudes in North American children and adolescents.”
Advanced Fish A.I.
It’s one of the dumbest controversies on this list, but it’s a controversy nonetheless.
While promoting Call of Duty: Ghosts, developer Infinity Ward promoted the game’s advanced fish A.I. which sees them scatter from you as you move closer. It was a pointless feature that had been done many times before, and Call of Duty fans saw it as a sign of diminishing creativity.
Infinity Ward tried to play it off as a joke, but not everyone was convinced.
Akimbo Model 1887 Weapon
Here’s a nice gameplay controversy to help mix things ups.
In short, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 allowed players to dual-wield Model 1887 shotguns. The problem was that these weapons could be combined with a series of perks that made them comically overpowered.
What makes these guns that much more controversial is the fact that it took 2 patches to fix them. The first patch left out some important fixes, meaning that these guns dominated the game for way too long.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Goes Full Sci-Fi
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was actually a pretty good game, but it attracted one of the most negative gut reactions of any title in the franchise.
After Call of Duty had already gone sci-fi with Advanced Warfare, fans had a field day tearing into Infinite Warfare, which was closer to a Halo game than a Call of Duty title.
To this day, the Infinite Warfare reveal trailer features almost 4 million dislikes to just 600 thousand likes.
Call of Duty And Various Real-Life Shootings
Without naming names, there have been various people over the years who admitted to playing quite a bit of Call of Duty leading up to them committing a horrific mass shooting.
There are quite a few factors to consider here that make it hard to just blame Call of Duty, but the game’s association with these incidents remains one of its greatest controversies.